According to television ratings released on Friday, across nine major television stations, more people watched last week’s nomination acceptance speech from Joe Biden than watched this week’s similar speech from Donald Trump. Neither speech was delivered in a traditional setting — Biden delivered his speech accepting the Democratic Party’s presentation at a majorly scaled-down event following the cancellation of the in-person convention due to the Coronavirus. Trump, meanwhile, delivered his GOP nomination acceptance speech outside the White House, which many observers say seemingly brazenly broke the law against mingling political activity and official government business.
Across nine networks on both cable and broadcast television, about 21.6 million viewers watched Trump’s speech. Across the six high-profile networks including the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC, Trump’s speech garnered 14.1 million viewers. Meanwhile, across those same nine networks, 23.6 million viewers watched Biden’s nomination acceptance speech, and across the six perhaps most high-profile ones, the Democratic presidential pick’s speech garnered 17.5 million viewers — clearly more than Trump. There’s still a chance for the numbers to shift slightly as of Friday afternoon since final totals were slated to be released later, but the trend is clear.
Overnight ratings for the fourth and final night of the conventions.
Six networks combined (FNC/CNN/MSNBC/ABC/CBS/NBC). Ratings are for the duration of each nominee’s speech only:
Democratic / Biden – 17.5
Republican / Trump – 14.1
— Michael Mulvihill (@mulvihill79) August 28, 2020
Sarcastically tweeting at a fellow Biden staffer, Biden’s national press secretary TJ Ducklo commented:
‘Huh! @AndrewBatesNC I always forget, does @realDonaldTrump care about his television ratings? Or is that not something he cares about? Like, do you think it’ll trigger him that @JoeBiden ’s speech got way bigger ratings than his did?’
Andrew Bates, who’s the Biden campaign’s Rapid Response Director, sarcastically replied:
‘You mean the self-described “Ratings Machine DJT,” who bet the farm on this & broke the law to exploit the White House as a prop *while* pretending he isn’t in charge as the pandemic spins out of control and violence & division flare up? Nah, I think he’ll be totally sanguine.’
You mean the self-described "Ratings Machine DJT," who bet the farm on this & broke the law to exploit the White House as a prop *while* pretending he isn't in charge as the pandemic spins out of control and violence & division flare up?
Nah, I think he'll be totally sanguine. pic.twitter.com/HFtMt4Ms4q
— Andrew Bates (@AndrewBatesNC) August 28, 2020
Trump has obsessed over television ratings in the past. He’s even focused on touting the supposedly high television ratings for his press conferences that he did during the original heights of the Coronavirus pandemic, as if television ratings are anywhere close to what any non-self-obsessed person would focus on during the crisis.